Across America, millions of people are celebrating this holiday. And they should, it’s a historical day for the United States. But what do you really know about this great holiday? Test your knowledge:
1.Was July 4th the date Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence? No: Initially adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776, the revised version of the Declaration of Independence was not adopted until two days later.
2. What’s he oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States? The 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.
3. Who signed The Declaration of Independence? It was penned by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies.
4. Who first sang Yankee Doodle? One of the United States’ patriotic songs, “Yankee Doodle” was originally sung by British military officers prior to the Revolution as a means to mock the disorganized American colonists who fought alongside them during the French and Indian Wars.
5. Were there any countries who followed our example? France, Greece, Poland, Russia and several countries in South America used the Declaration of Independence as a beacon in their own struggles for freedom.
6. Who wrote the official national anthem? The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 and not decreed the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.
7. How many Presidents dies on the 4th of July? Three U.S. Presidents, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, died on July 4th; Adams and Jefferson died within hours of each other in 1826 while Monroe died in 1831.
8. How many people lived in the United States on July 4th 1776? In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. According to the U.S. and World Population Clock, the nation’s estimated population in July 2013 will be 316.2 million.
9. Which newspaper printed the Declaration of Independence first? The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence.
10. What othe countries celebrate the 4th of July? Both the Philippines and Rwanda celebrate July 4th as a day of liberation. In Southeast Asia, it is known as “Republic Day” and Rwandans celebrate “Liberation Day.”
11. Which President was born on the 4th of July? The country’s 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on Independence Day in 1872.
12. How many hot dogs are consumed on the 4th of July? Americans consume about 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day alone; it is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.
13. When was the 4th of July considered a holiday? In 1870 Congress made Independence Day an official unpaid holiday; in 1938, it was changed to a paid federal holiday.
14. When did Americans really start celebrating the 4th of July? Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade and a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks.
15. How many times is the Liberty bell tapped on the 4th of July? To avoid cracking it, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. To mark the quintessential day, every fourth of July it is symbolically tapped 13 times.
16. Who decided the bald eagle should be the national bird? John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are responsible for the bald eagle as the national bird; Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be the turkey.
17. How many of the 56 signers were Brittish? Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain.
18. How many firework displays take place on the 4th of July? The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each 4th of July.
19. Where were casted the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty? Two of our nation’s great national symbols were made overseas. The Liberty Bell was cast in England, and the Statue of Liberty in France.
20. What was the average age of the Signers? The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest at age 70, and Edward Rutledge was the youngest at age 26.